Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Santa – Where do Ideas Come From?


Are there answers outside my window – I sure hope so because I spend a lot of time staring out it.

Where do great ideas come from? I see an article or blog post expounding the secrets to finding great ideas about twice per week. Some of these are written as exercise routines: “How to Train Your Brain”. Some are written as cook books: “The Recipe to Generating Great Ideas”. And some are like self help guides: “The 5 Steps to Great Ideas”.

I've tried them all.  This year I am just going to ask Santa.

I've been fortunate to have a few good ideas in my career and, in my experience, they all come from different places and are generated under wildly different circumstances. I am now in search of another (hopefully) great idea.

But where will the idea come from?

My partner, Steve Minton, and I started a new company 6 months ago. We are both working on it (somewhat) part time. Our first task is to generate ideas about what kind of company we want to be and what kind of product(s) we want to build. This process is a whole lot of fun. But it is also a lot harder than I thought it would be.

So I got to thinking. Maybe there is an easier way. So far, here’s my list:
  1. Hope Santa will leave me an idea in my stocking
  2. Stare out my window some more and hope an idea flies by
  3. Write a book about finding great ideas and pretend I know what I’m talking about
  4. Be an idea consultant and tell everyone else how to find ideas
  5. Buy a Powerball Lottery ticket and just forget about it
Or – I can just keep putting in a lot of hard work, be willing to fail a few times, and stick with it until I get it right.

I’m heading out for the Powerball Ticket (just to hedge my bets).